Jenny and Her Dog Both Fight Cancer by Jewel Kats

jenny-her-dog-51pjkmhaixl__sy498_bo1204203200_Jenny and Her Dog Both Fight Cancer: A Tale of Chemotherapy and Caring

Jewel Kats, Author

Claudia Marie Lenart, Illustrator

Loving Healing Press, Fiction, Mar. 21, 2016

Suitable for Ages: 6-9

Themes: Childhood cancer, Pets with cancer, Friendship, Courage, Loss

Opening: “Your dog, Dolly, has cancer of the lungs.” I can’t believe my ears. This can’t be happening. I know the “C-word” all to well. I glare at my mom. “This must be a real bad joke.”

Synopsis: When the veterinarian tells Jenny her dog has cancer, memories of her own diagnosis come flooding into her mind. Dolly is her best friend and has been there to support Jenny during very tough times of chemotherapy when she loses her hair and is sick. Jenny promises to love and support Dolly.  As Jenny gets stronger, Dolly slows down, doesn’t want to eat and tires from walks. The loving bond between them grows.

Why I like this book:

Jewell Kats has written a heartwarming and honest story about a girl and her dog both receiving a cancer diagnosis. This is a refreshing angle on a story. The bond between Jenny and her dog is realistic. Even though Jenny is still receiving chemo and feels sick many days, she bravely accompanies Dolly to her treatments. Together they love and support one another through many tough times. Jenny is a very courageous character. And Dolly is the best medicine for Jenny’s healing process. But the prognosis is not always good for dogs with cancer. As Jenny gets better, Dolly begins to weaken.

I like the simplicity of Kats’ narrative, which is told in Jenny’s voice. Her picture book would be helpful to children who are dealing with cancer, whether their own, a family member or a pet.  Claudia Marie Lenart’s beautifully illustrates the story with her hand-made fiber artwork. Her soft wool sculptures are magical and really make this story special.

Jewel Kats is the author of about a dozen “Fairy Ability Tales, which feature protagonist’s who have a disability or chronic illness. Kats also dealt with a disability and wrote books that helped kids see themselves in stories.  She wanted to be known for her work as an advocate for individuals with disabilities.  Unfortunately, Jewel Kats passed away Jan. 7, 2016. Her last book with Lenart will be published this fall.  Visit Kats’ website.  Check out Claudia Marie Lenart’s  fiber artwork process on her website.

Resources: The book alone is a perfect resource for parents and families. Her picture book would be helpful to children who are dealing with cancer, whether their own, a family member or a pet.  September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

40 thoughts on “Jenny and Her Dog Both Fight Cancer by Jewel Kats

  1. With many children dealing with cancer, this would be such a good book. Even for children who may have friends or family battling cancer. Bravo Jewel for writing such a meaningful book and thank you, Pat, for reviewing it.

  2. Wow! I agree – I hope this has a happy ending, too. But having lived through a beloved dog’s cancer journeys (she died after the third recurrence), the loss of two dogs within a year of each other, and our daughter’s cancer (very much alive & planning her wedding),thankfully not all at the same time, I think this book will bring comfort to those facing illness. The illustrations look lovely, and comforting, too. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. What a beautiful way to approach this topic–dogs ground us and bring out our loving spirits so well. Are the illustrations photos of little dolls? I think that’s part of what makes that hug on the cover so tender.

  4. This sounds like a needed and moving story, Patricia. Dogs can be such a comfort when you’re ill. When my dad was under hospice care, his dog spent nearly every moment standing sentinel at his bedside.

    • It is a comforting story for children with cancer and their families. This book can be used in a variety of ways. Thank you for sharing your experience with you dad. Animals know. I experienced something similar with my mother.

  5. Mom will for sure never read this book. She doesn’t read books where the dog might die at the end. This sounds like a good possibility here…. God bless this author taking on such a tough subject.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    • The author is a very special woman. She was in a car accident in her teens and uses a wheelchair. She has written a lot of fractured fairy tales with protagonists that have disabilities, like Down Syndrome (Hansel and Gretel). She has such courage and light. The artwork stands out in this story too — very unusual fiber sculptures.

  6. With so many children suffering from serious illnesses, this book is very much needed. Thank you for selecting it, Patricia…I always know I will find a fabulous book reviewed when I come to your website! And thank you for sharing the background of the author…she writes from the heart because she has been there.

  7. Oh my goodness this just captured my heart Both the story and the dreamy illustrations. What an amazing writer to tackle such a delicate topic and I had to race to the illustrators website to check out her wonderful creative art work. A wonderful review Pat and thanks for sharing

    • Yes, dreamy is an excellent word to describe Claudia’s illustrations. There will be one more book due out this fall. “Prince Preemie: Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrived Early.” I also just learned that the young author passed away. Will comment above.

  8. Thank you for reviewing the book. Yes, Jewel was amazing for writing a children’s book on this difficult subject. This was the first book I illustrated for Jewel. I thought it was so beautifully written and I related to it as I had lost dogs to cancer.

    • Claudia,
      I am pleased you enjoyed the review the book you and Jewel Kats collaborated on. I am happy there will be one more book released this fall: “Prince Preemie: Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrived Early.”

      I also was saddened to learn from you that author, Jewel Kats, has passed away. She was such an inspiration to her readers, dealing with her own disabilities. She really sparkled. Here is a tribute to her: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-author-jewel-kats-1.3398884 And thank you for sharing my review on Kats website.

      I look forward to reviewing your last book together. I love the cover.

      Best,
      Patricia

  9. Pingback: Children’s Books Heal reviews Jenny & Her Dog | Jewel Kats

  10. tough topic to write about – and yet so needed. In a perfect world no dogs would die… or kids. In our world we have to find a way to help them survive this disease.

  11. This sounds like a book that families will need to read to help their kids if something like this happens to either them or the dog. It’s quite sad, but Ms. Kats has a great way of writing these books. 🙂

  12. Sounds like a great book for any child that is facing cancer or knows someone who is. I’ll add to my cancer book list and link to you! Thanks for sharing at the Diverse KidLit linky too!

    • I’m glad you liked the book. I’m always searching for books for kids dealing with cancer. After I published my review, I learned the author, who had a disability, passed away this year. She has one more book due out soon.

  13. Pingback: Books About Cancer for Kids and Teens

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